Month: December 2018

What Not to Say to Someone with Chronic Illness

 I continue to be amazed at the judgmental attitude’s of those looking from the outside – this post is not about being sensitive, it is about having common sense and giving someone the benefit of the doubt. Most people with chronic illness become immune to looks and comments because we see the bigger picture; however, it is annoying. If you want to meet a strong person, talk with someone with chronic illness and talk with those closest to them: they have to be as strong if not stronger.

Recently, I was conversing with an acquaintance who asked specifically about my health; normally I would have minimized and deflected my health woes (thanks to my friend Lisa Sniderman, I am embracing my new norm). I thought, “Well, you asked,” my answer was a brief synopsis and how I would be homeless without the support of my family due to chronic illness. The response was “every time I see you, you look great, so put that health **** behind you and move forward.” Being used to such comments, I ignored yet categorized that person as someone who makes assumptions based on outward appearances. But don’t we all?

I could add multiple examples of such occurrences, but why waste space? This has been humorous in the dating world: we are judged continually by the chapter of our lives someone walks into; I’ve been referred to as lazy, attention seeking, and unsocial. My response to that is, live a day in my shoes, live a week or a month in the shoes of someone with chronic illness.

People see us, at different times, and immediately think that things are great as we “look fine.” Keep in mind, those times you see us, we do look fine, you won’t see us out and about when we feel miserable. The day before or the day after seeing us may have been such a struggle, and the one day we feel like going somewhere, we do! I don’t enjoy pity, therefore unless an emergency warrants, you won’t see me on a bad day, or hear, or read about it on social media.

For example: two days ago, the best I could do was rest on a super soft sofa as my joints and bum were competing in who could cause the most pain. The arthritis was so painful I could not open a jar, and the jar had been opened previous. I literally stumbled around all day (fatigue), and thought a bit of walking may help the knees. Pooch was excited about me taking her out, she grabbed her ball tosser (I’m talking tosser and ball), and with a bit of maneuvering, made her way to the yard. I took her hint, but let her down. My arms/joints were so weak and painful, that 2 out of 4 times I tossed her ball, the ball didn’t dislodge from the tosser. She gave me a curious look, I held out the tosser for her, she took her ball and occupied herself, déjà vu.

Yesterday, I ran errands (just a few), and despite feeling better than the day before, I still had pain and difficulty prepping a simple dinner. Today, I can’t sit comfortably and the joints hurt, yet I write, as lots of times, that’s all I can do. Who knows what tomorrow will bring, there’s the daily chance of a 50/50 day – 50% it could be good, 50% it could be bad.

Keep this in mind next time you see someone who “looks fine,” that may be the one day a month we are.

Posted by kristaevans, 0 comments